[rspec-users] Step matchers

Josh Chisholm joshuachisholm at gmail.com
Tue Oct 16 03:10:07 EDT 2007

Hi all. I'm with David in that plain-text specs are my holy grail. I
have actually been experimenting with this idea since I first saw the
story runner. My interpreter (spike!) would execute "specs" against
"proofs", but I tried to put a bit more into the grammar.
Specifically, the interpreter would manage the flow of the spec (I
used the terms create/expect/act/verify) by setting up and reusing the
"class variables" between steps. For example:

"given a dog" interprets as
1. instantiate a Dog and assign it to class variables @he, @she, @it

"given a dog with a bone: Fido" interprets as
1. instantiate a Dog and assign it to class variable @fido
2. find a matcher for ":dog with a bone" and call it with @fido

"when Fido barks at Felix" interprets as
1. find a matcher for ":dog barks at :victim" and call it with @fido, @felix

I found that two modes of "define_then" statements were needed: one
called before its whens (interaction testing) and one called after its
whens (state testing).

Is that going too far? Yes my parser and interpreter were more than 60 lines :-)

What I can say is that coding "libraries" of "step matchers" takes
little away from the maintainability (or programmer happiness!) For
example, the runner can warn things like:

not yet implemented: act ":dog with a bone" (to support "given a dog
with a bone: Fido")



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